Becoming a mum can take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. One moment you’re on top of the world and the next you’re in the doldrums.
As with everything in life, how you deal with the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood is simply a reflection of your personality, as expert psychologist and mum Dr. Linda Papadopoulos explains: “Having a baby is a huge, life-changing event that naturally takes some adjusting to.
“While every pregnancy is different in its own way, our behaviour tends to follow set patterns and some healthy self-reflection can help us manage our expectations and emotions, to better cope with the joys – and challenges – of motherhood!
“Identifying who you are and understanding your natural coping mechanisms can help you control overriding emotions, deal with important decisions, adapt to your new situation and enjoy this wonderful time in your life.”
To help you make the most of your pregnancy, Dr. Linda reveals five of the most common personality types for mums-to-be:
The Worrier Mum
Naturally seeking as much information as possible from any sources available to her, the Worrier Mum is an information addict!
Always seeking the advice of your friends and family, and reading countless baby books and pregnancy magazines, you might be a little bit overwhelmed by all the information out there. Unfortunately the resulting confusion makes it quite tricky to feel confident about the decisions you face in your new situation as a mum-to-be.
You’ll often deal with anxiety by obsessing about your biggest fears, and self-medicating with too much information from a huge variety of sources.
If you’re a Worrier Mum…
If you think you’re showing signs of being a Worrier Mum, it’s important to remember that it is totally natural to worry about the most precious thing in your life – your new baby.
To avoid confusion reduce the number of sources you gather your information from. Use only regulated websites, such as www.nhs.uk/pregnancy, and visit your maternity health professional for straightforward, factual information and to discuss the best options for you and your baby.
The Alpha Mum
The Alpha Mum is the leader of the pack!
Competitive in nature, if you’re an Alpha Mum you like to stay one step ahead of the crowd. You were probably the first in your group of friends to fall pregnant, and by now you’ve read all the books, been to all the classes and might even be on your second or third child.
A font of knowledge, the Alpha Mum is the one everyone turns to for advice on pregnancy and motherhood, often sharing her wisdom without even being prompted.
If you’re an Alpha Mum…
Prone to comparing your baby’s milestones – the first kick, the first word, the first step – Alpha Mums should try and remember that each child is an individual, and no matter how competitive you are.
As a mother-to-be there are many options available to you – from where you have your baby to how you feed it. The important thing is to decide what is right for you – and what’s right for your baby, regardless of what anyone else is doing.
The Professional Mum
Professional by name, professional by nature!
Highly organised, rational, system follower with unwavering faith in the expertise of professionals, the Professional Mum takes no chances when it comes to her baby.
You’ll be giving birth in hospital, surrounded by medical equipment, doctors and other medical professionals to minimise the chance of any unexpected complications. You’ll definitely be following your GP’s advice religiously, dismissing old wife’s tales and taking no notice of any baby myths or superstitions.
If you’re a Professional Mum…
If you’re a Professional Mum, the most important thing you need to try to do is to relax!
While preparation is important – and by all means, let your midwife or health care professional guide you through – many of the rewards of motherhood come from learning to cope with the unexpected and enjoying the spontaneous moments you will come to cherish.
By loosening up a little bit and being flexible in your approach as a new mum, you will be better positioned to deal with the unpredictable twists and turns of motherhood.
The Earth Mum
Earth Mum likes to be as close to nature as possible!
As Earth Mum you’ll prefer to float through your pregnancy in organic fabrics, eating a simple, natural and wholesome diet. Preferring alternative remedies to chemical pain relievers, you’ll opt for home and natural remedies and above all, you’d like to have your baby in the comfort of your own home.
In you’re an Earth Mum…
Your beliefs are an essential driving force in your life, yet as a mother you are now responsible, not just for yourself, but for your baby as well. You’ll need to ensure that you balance your personal desires with what is best for your individual child’s heath and wellbeing.
As an Earth Mum, talking through your wishes with maternity health care professionals – whether that be a midwife, GP or maternity care team – can help you to feel more comfortable about making the right choices for you and your baby.
No Worries Mum
Having sailed through life with a ‘no worries’ attitude, it is likely that you’ve travelled the world, jumped out of planes and over cliffs without even blinking, and what’s more, you’re approaching child birth in much the same way!
Your mum did it, your friends have done it and you don’t see what they are all fussing about. You haven’t really thought too deeply about antenatal or post-natal care but you’re definitely looking forward to family holidays and trips to the zoo.
If you’re a ‘No Worries’ Mum…
While it is wonderful to envisage the wonderful experiences you will have as a mother, it is important to manage your expectations so you are prepared for the odd ache or pain and the inevitable sleepless nights.
To make sure you have thought of everything and are fully prepared for pregnancy, motherhood and beyond, visit your GP or midwife as soon as possible after finding out you are pregnant, you can then choose between midwifery care or a team of health care professionals for consistent care and support throughout your pregnancy.
For further information about maternity choices and services, you should:
- Contact your GP or midwife
- Ask your midwife about your choices
- Go to www.nhs.uk/pregnancy for more information